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SEC Filings

CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL INC filed this Form 10-K on 02/08/2018
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events that may affect our ingredient prices. Certain key ingredients (including beef, pork, chicken, beans, rice, sour cream, cheese, and tortillas) are purchased from a small number of suppliers. For a discussion of risks related to our supply chain, see “Risks Related to Operating in the Restaurant Industry – Failure to receive frequent deliveries of higher-quality food ingredients and other supplies meeting our specifications could harm our operations” and “Risks Related to our Unique Business Strategy – Our Food With Integrity philosophy subjects us to risks” in Item 1A. “Risk Factors.”   

Quality Assurance and Food Safety.    We are committed to serving safe, high quality food. Our Executive Director of Food Safety, a respected expert in the industry, oversees our food safety programs and practices, components of which include:


supplier interventions (steps to avoid food safety risks before ingredients reach Chipotle);

advanced technology (tools that eliminate pathogens while maintaining food quality);

farmer support and training;

enhanced restaurant procedures (protocols for handling ingredients and sanitizing surfaces in our restaurants);

food safety certification;

internal and third party restaurant inspections; and

ingredient traceability.

These and other food safety practices underscore our commitment to becoming a leader in food safety while we continue to serve high quality food that our customers love. Our Executive Director of Food Safety directs a quality assurance department that establishes and monitors our quality and food safety programs, and works closely with our suppliers to ensure our high standards are met throughout the supply chain. We maintain a limited list of approved suppliers, many of which are among the top suppliers in the industry. In addition, our training, operations, and risk management departments develop and implement operating standards for food quality, preparation, cleanliness, employee health protocols, and safety in the restaurants. Our food safety programs are also intended to ensure that we not only continue to comply with applicable federal, state and local food safety regulations, but establish Chipotle as an industry leader in food safety.

To be sure that our food safety programs continue to evolve in ways that will help maintain leadership in this important area, we have a Food Safety Advisory Council comprised of some of the nation’s foremost food safety authorities. The Food Safety Advisory Council is charged with evaluating our programs, both in practice and implementation, and advising us on ways to elevate our already high standards for food safety.

Delivering an Excellent Guest Experience

We believe there is nothing more important than treating our guests to an excellent experience every time they visit one of our restaurants, and expect that doing so will help us attract customers more frequently and engender greater customer loyalty. We have also renewed our commitment to focusing on our restaurant operations and training to elevate the experience we are providing, and ensuring greater consistency throughout all of our restaurants.  Creating an excellent guest experience starts with hiring great people, creating great teams, and training them on our high standards. We have re-tooled our restaurant compensation systems to place greater emphasis on the strength of operations and the guest experience, and revamped our training programs to better support these priorities.

Restaurant Team. Each restaurant typically has a general manager or Restaurateur (a high-performing general manager), an apprentice manager (in a majority of our restaurants), and we aim to have two or three hourly service managers, one or two hourly kitchen managers and an average of 22 full and part-time crew members, though our busier restaurants tend to have slightly more employees. We generally have two shifts at our restaurants, which simplifies scheduling and provides stability for our employees. We also cross-train our people so that each can work a variety of stations, allowing us to work efficiently during our busiest times, while giving our people the opportunity to develop a wider array of skills. Consistent with our emphasis on customer service, we encourage our general managers and crew members to welcome and interact with customers throughout the day. In addition to the employees serving our customers at each restaurant, we also have a field support system that includes field leaders and team directors, as well as executive team directors who report to our Chief Restaurant Officer.

Innovation. We are prioritizing the development of technological and other innovations, such as digital/mobile ordering platforms, and delivery and catering choices, that allow our guests to engage with us in whatever fashion is most convenient for them. By allowing our customers to order and receive their food in a variety of ways, we believe we can attract more customers and encourage customers to choose us more frequently. In order to successfully deliver a great experience for more customers, we are




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